“Other than what you're thinking and believing, what's the problem?”
I heard Katie ask this question just before I completed the Certification Program. She summed up my years of study and inquiry in that question, and I saw again that I am a beginner. I'm pretty thrilled to realize that I always will be.
From a young age, I believed that if people weren't miserable, they must be remarkably shallow. Clearly, happy people could not experience the world I knew and be at all caring. I had great proof for misery in my own personal experiences, in evidence of social inequalities and worldwide oppression—the proof was endless, really. I had a sense of superiority in this suffering, too. Gloom was a part of my identity that I polished regularly. Abuse and dysfunction, trauma and loss: these were my unquestioned badges of victimhood.
The School for The Work in 2008 brought revolutionary change to my Identity of Woe. But for me, it took a few more years to realize that my deliverance from suffering wasn't about spending time every year with Byron Katie; it really was all about my own thinking. Pinpointing the thoughts, and slowing my whole self down to examine them, took courage. I risked all that I understood of myself and of the world. Over time and through the Institute of The Work program of study, The Work revealed to me that actually the depressed mind is what's blind to reality. The clear mind is restful. Cheerful, even.
I have worked as a special education teacher for over 25 years, with preschoolers to adults, and with all nature of disabilities. I currently help students transition into employment, directly questioning their fears of rejection, of failure, and of making mistakes.
I share The Work with others so we can rediscover a way to live calmly, connected to each other and to ourselves. I share The Work to rediscover self-forgiveness, to find clarity in confusion, and to reveal the natural kindness and humor within. I offer workshops, individual sessions and couples work, as well as Skype and phone sessions. My experience of inquiry includes all aspects of identity and relationships, including LGBT, teaching and parenting, including foster care, grief and loss; aging, body image and food, recovery; and life transitions. I invite you to join me.